The Great Race Reviews

  • Dec 15, 2020

    It's hard to make a pie fight funny; this movie was up to the challenge.

    It's hard to make a pie fight funny; this movie was up to the challenge.

  • Jul 23, 2020

    Jack Lemmon....brilliant

    Jack Lemmon....brilliant

  • Jul 18, 2020

    Brings nothing new to this kind of film.

    Brings nothing new to this kind of film.

  • Mar 21, 2020

    One of my favorite movies of all time. Cast is great. Script is a great.

    One of my favorite movies of all time. Cast is great. Script is a great.

  • Mar 03, 2020

    a once in a lifetime glorious romantic hilarious adventure that is and will always be a joy for the whole family to see and hear and remember gotta love it!!

    a once in a lifetime glorious romantic hilarious adventure that is and will always be a joy for the whole family to see and hear and remember gotta love it!!

  • Feb 05, 2020

    If you look up the definition of "farce," this film should be alongside it. A farce is the "exploitation of improbable situations" and that fits this film perfectly. I view this film each time it is shown and enjoy it even more. The settings are beautiful, the costuming is superb - no wonder it garnered an Academy Award nomination for Cinematography (among four others)! Jack Lemmon is simply terrific in his dual roles as the mad prince/Professor Fate and Tony Curtis, as "The Great Leslie," is in-his-prime gorgeous and excellent in his role. Natalie Wood is stunningly beautiful here and playfully and skillfully acts her role as the suffragette who inserts herself into "the great race," and falls for Leslie in the process. I truly believe a Supporting Actor nomination should have gone to the great Peter Falk who plays Professor Fate's sidekick, Max, as he makes this film move along in so many ways. Yes, it's over-the-top in slapstick but that is what makes you laugh. The pie fight, one of the best four minutes in film, is worth watching the film for. There are far worse films out there to slog your way through but this isn't one of them. You just enjoy the ride here!

    If you look up the definition of "farce," this film should be alongside it. A farce is the "exploitation of improbable situations" and that fits this film perfectly. I view this film each time it is shown and enjoy it even more. The settings are beautiful, the costuming is superb - no wonder it garnered an Academy Award nomination for Cinematography (among four others)! Jack Lemmon is simply terrific in his dual roles as the mad prince/Professor Fate and Tony Curtis, as "The Great Leslie," is in-his-prime gorgeous and excellent in his role. Natalie Wood is stunningly beautiful here and playfully and skillfully acts her role as the suffragette who inserts herself into "the great race," and falls for Leslie in the process. I truly believe a Supporting Actor nomination should have gone to the great Peter Falk who plays Professor Fate's sidekick, Max, as he makes this film move along in so many ways. Yes, it's over-the-top in slapstick but that is what makes you laugh. The pie fight, one of the best four minutes in film, is worth watching the film for. There are far worse films out there to slog your way through but this isn't one of them. You just enjoy the ride here!

  • Dec 07, 2019

    Basically a two-hour and fourty-five minute long Looney Tunes sketch performed in the live action format. If the prior sentence doesn't set off at least a few sets of alarm bells in your head, then I don't know what to tell you. Slapstick can be an effective tool, yes, but only when the characters, stakes & conflict in play are firm enough to support a genuine comedic reaction from the audience. It's also most prudently used in short form storytelling (i.e. cartoons, shorts, skits, etc.) for even the most successful of reactions to pratfalls or pies in the face are fleeting in comparison to how audiences typically process other narrative devices. It's hard to play the long con with this kind of humor. It's damn near IMPOSSIBLE to play the three-hour long con with this kind of humor. And "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad World" this movie is not. I appreciate Blake Edwards's spirit in setting forth with this piece. The actors seem to be having a great time -- especially the late, great Jack Lemmon. The set pieces, though monotonous after a time, are put together coherently. But nearly every other element -- the narrative, the character work, the pacing -- is lacking. No one is interesting. Our protagonist is horrifically characterized, with almost little to no identifiers given to him other than "he's good" and "he wears white." Natalie Wood's character is so haphazardly constructed, reflecting an overall issue in the thematic content therein. What were they trying to get across? Egalitarianism is good? Bad? Inevitable? It's so confused and thrown together. There are entire sequences (oh, no, not scenes -- SEQUENCES) that can go. There's absolutely no reason this needed to be this long. "The Great Race" is easily one of the more difficult watches I've had to endure as of late.

    Basically a two-hour and fourty-five minute long Looney Tunes sketch performed in the live action format. If the prior sentence doesn't set off at least a few sets of alarm bells in your head, then I don't know what to tell you. Slapstick can be an effective tool, yes, but only when the characters, stakes & conflict in play are firm enough to support a genuine comedic reaction from the audience. It's also most prudently used in short form storytelling (i.e. cartoons, shorts, skits, etc.) for even the most successful of reactions to pratfalls or pies in the face are fleeting in comparison to how audiences typically process other narrative devices. It's hard to play the long con with this kind of humor. It's damn near IMPOSSIBLE to play the three-hour long con with this kind of humor. And "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad World" this movie is not. I appreciate Blake Edwards's spirit in setting forth with this piece. The actors seem to be having a great time -- especially the late, great Jack Lemmon. The set pieces, though monotonous after a time, are put together coherently. But nearly every other element -- the narrative, the character work, the pacing -- is lacking. No one is interesting. Our protagonist is horrifically characterized, with almost little to no identifiers given to him other than "he's good" and "he wears white." Natalie Wood's character is so haphazardly constructed, reflecting an overall issue in the thematic content therein. What were they trying to get across? Egalitarianism is good? Bad? Inevitable? It's so confused and thrown together. There are entire sequences (oh, no, not scenes -- SEQUENCES) that can go. There's absolutely no reason this needed to be this long. "The Great Race" is easily one of the more difficult watches I've had to endure as of late.

  • Oct 28, 2019

    Jack Lemmon is wonderful in this movie.

    Jack Lemmon is wonderful in this movie.

  • Jul 17, 2019

    The Great Race is a movie that feels like one I watched in my childhood, but I don’t remember it well enough to be sure. Maybe I’m thinking of It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the Wacky Races TV show, or some combination of those things. One thing I can say about The Great Race is that it rarely ever feels like a race, but more like they had some different scenes they wanted to compile into a single film and they used the race as the inciting incident to get the main characters to the right places for those scenes. I always enjoy the combination of the highly competent hero and the bumbling villain, because that allows you to laugh a lot at Professor Fate’s failures. I enjoy the cartoon-like violence in the film, and it reminds me a lot of Blake Edwards’ Pink Panther films at times. The drawback to the story was Natalie Wood’s character. While she’s a lovely actress, and sometimes added a little extra spark to things that happened, most of the time she was an annoyance rather than a benefit to the plot. In fact, the entire suffragette storyline was an odd addition to the film. Tony Curtis is good as the cocky hero that always seems to know the right thing to do. But the real joy of the film is watching Jack Lemmon and Peter Falk clumsily make one mistake after the next in their effort to best “The Great Leslie.” Most of the set pieces and locations were good, and the climactic pie fight is such a classic gag that I was grinning from ear-to-ear through the whole thing. I wouldn’t say The Great Race is one of the best comedies of all time, but it’s definitely a fun one and I’d gladly watch it again any time.

    The Great Race is a movie that feels like one I watched in my childhood, but I don’t remember it well enough to be sure. Maybe I’m thinking of It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the Wacky Races TV show, or some combination of those things. One thing I can say about The Great Race is that it rarely ever feels like a race, but more like they had some different scenes they wanted to compile into a single film and they used the race as the inciting incident to get the main characters to the right places for those scenes. I always enjoy the combination of the highly competent hero and the bumbling villain, because that allows you to laugh a lot at Professor Fate’s failures. I enjoy the cartoon-like violence in the film, and it reminds me a lot of Blake Edwards’ Pink Panther films at times. The drawback to the story was Natalie Wood’s character. While she’s a lovely actress, and sometimes added a little extra spark to things that happened, most of the time she was an annoyance rather than a benefit to the plot. In fact, the entire suffragette storyline was an odd addition to the film. Tony Curtis is good as the cocky hero that always seems to know the right thing to do. But the real joy of the film is watching Jack Lemmon and Peter Falk clumsily make one mistake after the next in their effort to best “The Great Leslie.” Most of the set pieces and locations were good, and the climactic pie fight is such a classic gag that I was grinning from ear-to-ear through the whole thing. I wouldn’t say The Great Race is one of the best comedies of all time, but it’s definitely a fun one and I’d gladly watch it again any time.

  • Feb 01, 2019

    The best comedy movie ever made! With the best movie character ever portrayed: Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate!

    The best comedy movie ever made! With the best movie character ever portrayed: Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate!